Though the official signing date is not until early April, recruitment is underway for Georgia Highlands’ soon-to-be intercollegiate basketball team.
Phillip Gaffney, the athletics director, has been hitting the road to find talent for the basketball team coming in the fall. Gaffney is going to recruit through the spring and into the summer. His plan is to recruit locally first, in Floyd and Bartow counties.
“Local kids will get a good following; the newspapers, radio stations will all cover the games. The seats will be filled,” Gaffney said.
After searching locally, Gaffney will move his focus to the Atlanta area, and from there, the rest of Georgia will be on his list. Gaffney plans on recruiting out-of-state as well.
With some athletes possibly coming from out-oftown, the biggest obstacle GHC has to deal with is its lack of housing. However, Gaffney is going to help athletes find places to live.
“With Rome being a college town, there are plenty of options for college housing around to secure for them,” he said.
Gaffney says that he’s optimistic about dorms for Highlands in the future. Right now, it’s about researching the need for housing, and from there, it has to work its way through the proper channels. It still could be a long time away, but Gaffney is very hopeful.
He is looking forward to one day being able to take a prospective student and his or her parents to the housing and say, “This is where you’re going to live.”
Recruiting is a new frontier for Georgia Highlands, and it’s only the beginning.
This fall, for the first time, students will have a team to rally behind. Taylor Elrod, a second-year student at the Floyd campus, said, “I think it’s great. It will boost the school’s reputation.”
Though Gaffney is traveling to recruit basketball players, the recruitment of a women’s basketball coach is still in the front of Gaffney’s mind.
He is looking at high school and college coaches. The benefit of coaches who are already at the college level is that they have an inside track to where the best players are.